CDPJ leader candidate Izumi positive on talks on Constitution

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
Kenta Izumi, one of four candidates in the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan leadership race

Kenta Izumi, one of the four candidates in the leadership race at Japan’s main opposition party, in a television program Sunday sounded ready to hold active debates on the Constitution at the Diet.

The other three candidates in the Nov. 30 election at the Constitutional Democratic Party of Japan indicated their stances of accepting such debates in principle, but stressed the need for preparing an environment enabling careful discussions.

“The CDPJ is a political party that puts weight on debating the Constitution, and I’m ready to fully discuss the country’s supreme law at the Diet’s commissions on the Constitution,” Izumi, who now serves as the CDPJ’s policy chief, said.

Izumi sounded negative on the CDPJ rejecting parliamentary discussions on the Constitution, saying that he believes many members of the public do not support a strategy of staging “physical resistance” in Diet deliberations.

Of the other three candidates, Seiji Osaka, former special adviser to the prime minister, said: “We should thoroughly hold discussions on the Constitution. But reckless discussions would be problematic.”

Junya Ogawa, former parliamentary vice minister for internal affairs and communications, also indicated a cautious stance.

But he also said that “positive and constructive discussions” should be held on specific revision issues, pointing to the need to confirm the stance of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party.

Chinami Nishimura, former state minister of health, labor and welfare, said that constitutional revision talks should be held.

But she voiced opposition to the LDP’s proposal to add to the Constitution an article on the handling of emergencies, saying, “We would be able to deal with such situations partly by amending existing laws.”